Broker-priest gives voice to disillusioned agents

Domus Realty owner derides unexamined acceptance of social media, webinars

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Just recently Barry Smith received a rather jarring voice mail. “It is disgusting. It is almost like you are portraying the devil,” the caller said in a quavering voice, according to Smith, owner of Washington, D.C.-based Domus Realty. By Smith's account, the caller later added: “You’re like the dark side, and the dark side does not see well." The message represents just one of many reactions to a colorful job ad that Smith, once a philosophy professor at Georgetown University, recently penned and fired off to what he said were about 10,000 email addresses. Calling for an "agent-priest," the job ad has struck a chord with some real estate professionals who say it has given voice to their disillusionment with broker culture. At the same time, some readers of the post, like the woman who seemed to view Smith as something of a Sith lord, have found its cynical tone deeply unnerving. The second reaction may be understandable: Certain passages in the ad, titled "Domus R...